"TITTER YE NOT"
What did the moose say after leaving a Gay bar?
Man, I blew like 50 bucks in there.
What do you call a 5-Man gay mariachi band?
There was this man who walked into a bar and
says to the bartender 10 shots of whiskey please.
The bartender asks,
"What's the matter?"
The man says, "I found out my brother is gay and marrying my best friend."
The next day the same man
comes in and orders 12 shots of whiskey. The bartenders asks,
"What's wrong this time?"
The man says, "I found out that my son is gay."
The next day the same man comes in the bar
and orders 15 shots of whiskey.
The bartender asks,
"Doesn't anyone in your family like women?"
The man looks up and says, "Apparently my wife does."
Gay equality activist Barbara Gittings picketing
Independence Hall in 1965
The Iconic LGBT
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social
movements are social movements that advocate for the
equalized acceptance of LGBT people in society. In these
movements, LGBT people and their allies have a long history
of campaigning for what is now generally called LGBT rights,
sometimes also called gay rights or gay and lesbian rights.
Although there is not a primary or an overarching central
organisation that represents all LGBT people and their
interests, numerous LGBT rights organisations are active
A commonly stated goal among these movements is social
equality for LGBT people. Some have also focused on
building LGBT communities or worked towards liberation for the
broader society from biphobia, homophobia, and transphobia.
LGBT movements organized today are made up of a wide
range of political activism and cultural activity, including
lobbying, street marches, social groups, media, art,
and research. Sociologist Mary Bernstein writes:
"For the lesbian and gay movement, their cultural goals include (but are not limited to) challenging dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity, homophobia, and the primacy of the gendered heterosexual nuclear family (heteronormativity). Political goals include changing laws and policies in order to gain new rights, benefits, and protections from harm." Bernstein emphasizes that activists seek both types of goals in both the civil and political spheres.
As with other social movements there is also conflict within and between LGBT movements, especially about strategies for change and debates over exactly who comprises the constituency that these movements represent. There is debate over to what extent lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, intersexed people and others share common interests and a need to work together.
Leaders of the lesbian and gay movement of the 1970s, 80s and 90s often attempted to hide masculine lesbians, feminine gay men, transgender people, and bisexuals from the public eye, creating internal divisions within LGBT communities. LGBT movements have often adopted a kind of identity politics that sees gay, bisexual and/or transgender people as a fixed class
of people; a minority group or groups. Those using this approach aspire to liberal political goals of freedom and equal opportunity, and aim to join the political mainstream on the same level as other groups in society. In arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity are innate and cannot be consciously changed, attempts to change gay, lesbian and bisexual people into heterosexuals (" conversion therapy ") are generally opposed by the LGBT community. Such attempts are often based in religious beliefs that perceive gay, lesbian and bisexual activity as immoral.
ITS A GAY OLD WORLD
However, others within LGBT movements have criticised identity politics as limited and flawed, elements of the queer
movement have argued that the categories of gay and lesbian are restrictive, and attempted to deconstruct those categories, which are seen to "reinforce rather than challenge a cultural system that will always mark the non heterosexual as inferior."
After the French Revolution the anticlerical feeling in Catholic countries coupled with the liberalizing effect of the Napoleonic Code made it possible to sweep away sodomy laws. However, in Protestant countries, where the church was less severe, there was no general reaction against statutes that were religious in origin. As a result, many of those countries retained their statutes on sodomy until late in the 20th century.
In eighteenth-and nineteenth-century Europe, same-sex sexual behaviour and cross-dressing were widely considered to be socially unacceptable, and were serious crimes under sodomy and sumptuary laws. There were, however, some exceptions. For example, in the 17th century cross dressing was common in plays, as evident in the content of many of William Shakespeare's plays and by the actors in actual performance (since female roles in Elizabethan theatre were always performed by males, usually pre pubescent boys).
Thomas Cannon wrote what may be the earliest published defence of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified (1749). Although only fragments of his work have survived, it was a humorous anthology of homosexual advocacy, written with an obvious enthusiasm for its subject. It contains the argument:
Unnatural Desire is a Contradiction in Terms; downright Nonsense. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts:
"Are not they, however constructed, and consequently impelling, Nature?"
Social reformer Jeremy Bentham wrote the first known argument for homosexual law reform in England around 1785, at a time when the legal penalty for buggery was death by hanging. His advocacy stemmed from his utilitarian philosophy, in which the morality of an action is determined by the net consequence of that action on human well-being. He argued that homosexuality was a victimless crime, and therefore not deserving of social approbation or criminal charges. He regarded popular negative attitudes against homosexuality as an irrational prejudice, fanned and perpetuated by religious teachings. However, he did not publicize his views as he feared reprisal; his powerful essay was not published until 1978.
The emerging currents of secular humanist thought which had inspired Bentham also informed the French Revolution, and when the newly formed National Constituent Assembly began drafting the policies and laws of the new republic in 1792, groups of militant " sodomite-citizens " in Paris petitioned the Assemblée nationale, the governing body of the French Revolution, for freedom and recognition. In 1791, France became the first nation to decriminalize homosexuality, probably thanks in part to Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès, who was one of the authors of the Napoleonic code. Under Napoleonic influence, the Duchy of Warsaw decriminalized In 1830, the new Penal Code of the Brazilian Empire did not repeat the title XIII of the fifth book of the "Ordenações Philipinas", which made sodomy a crime.
'If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT.
In many ways social attitudes to homosexuality became more
hostile during the late Victorian era. In 1885 the Labouchere
Amendment was included in the Criminal Law Amendment Act
which criminalized 'any act of gross indecency with another
male person'; a charge that was successfully invoked to convict
playwright Oscar Wilde in 1895 with the most severe sentence
possible under the Act.
From the 1870s, social reformers began to defend
homosexuality, but due to the controversial nature of their
advocacy, kept their identities secret. A secret British society
called the "Order of Chaeronea" campaigned for the
legalisation of homosexuality, and counted playwright Oscar
Wilde among its members in the last decades of the 19th
century. The society was founded by George Cecil Ives, one
of the earliest gay rights campaigners, who had been working
for the end of oppression of homosexuals, what he called the "Cause". Ives met Oscar Wilde at the
Authors' Club in London in 1892. Oscar Wilde was taken by his boyish looks and persuaded him to shave off his moustache, and once kissed him passionately in the Travellers' Club. In 1893, Lord Alfred Douglas, with whom he had a brief affair, introduced Ives to several Oxford poets whom Ives also tried to recruit. In 1897, Ives created and founded the first homosexual rights group, the Order of Chaeronea. Members included Charles Kains Jackson, Samuel Elsworth Cottam, Montague Summers, and John Gambril Nicholson.
John Addington Symonds was a poet and an early advocate of male love. In 1873, he wrote A Problem in Greek Ethics, a work of what would later be called "gay history." Although the Oxford English Dictionary credits the medical writer C.G. Chaddock for introducing "homosexual" into the English language in 1892, Symonds had already used the word in A
Problem in Greek Ethics.
Symonds also translated classical poetry on homoerotic themes, and wrote poems drawing on ancient Greek imagery and language such as Eudiades, which has been called "the most famous of his homoerotic poems". While the taboos of Victorian England prevented Symonds from speaking openly about homosexuality, his works published for a general audience contained strong implications and some of the first direct references to male-male sexual love in English literature. By the end of his life, Symonds' homosexuality had become an open secret in Victorian literary and cultural circles. In particular, Symonds' memoirs, written over a four-year period, from 1889 to 1893, form the earliest known self-conscious homosexual autobiography.
Another friend of Ives was the English socialist poet Edward Carpenter. Carpenter thought that homosexuality was an innate and natural human characteristic and that it should not be regarded as a sin or a criminal offence. In the 1890s, Carpenter began a concerted effort to campaign against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, possibly in response to the recent death of Symonds, whom he viewed as his campaigning inspiration. His 1908 book on the subject, The Intermediate Sex, would become a foundational text of the LGBT movements of the 20th century.
Scottish anarchist John Henry Mackay also wrote in defense of same-sex love and androgyny.
English sexologist Havelock Ellis wrote the first objective scientific study of homosexuality in 1897, in which he treated it as a neutral sexual condition. Called Sexual Inversion it was first printed in German and then translated into English a year
later. In the book, Ellis argued that same-sex relationships could not be characterized as a pathology or a crime and that its importance rose above the arbitrary restrictions imposed by society. He also studied what he called 'inter-generational relationships' and that these also broke social taboos on age difference in sexual relationships. The book was so controversial at the time that one bookseller was charged in court for holding copies of the work. It is claimed that Ellis
coined the term 'homosexual', but in fact he disliked the word due to its conflation of Greek and Latin.
These early proponents of LGBT rights, such as Carpenter, were often aligned with a broader socio-political movement known as 'free love'; a critique of Victorian sexual morality and the traditional institutions of family and marriage that were seen to enslave women. Some advocates of free love in the early 20th century, including Russian anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman, also spoke in defence of same-sex love and challenged repressive legislation.
An early LGBT movement also began in Germany at the turn of the 20th century, centering around the doctor and writer Magnus Hirschfeld. In 1897 he formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee campaign publicly against the notorious law "Paragraph 175," which made sex between men illegal. Adolf Brand later broke away from the group, disagreeing with Hirschfeld's medical view of the "intermediate sex," seeing male-male sex as merely an aspect of manly virility and male social bonding. Brand was the first to use "outing" as a political strategy, claiming that German Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow engaged in homosexual activity.
The 1901 book Sind es Frauen? Roman über das dritte Geschlecht (English:
Are These Women? Novel about the Third Sex) by Aimée Duc was as much a political treatise as a novel, criticising pathological theories of homosexuality and gender inversion in women. Anna Rüling, delivering a public speech in 1904 at the request of Hirschfeld, became the first female lesbian activist. Rüling, who also saw "men, women, and homosexuals" as three distinct genders, called for a alliance
between the women's and sexual reform movements, but this speech is her only known contribution to the cause. Women only began to join the previous male-dominated sexual reform movement around 1910, when the German government tried
to expand Paragraph 175 to outlaw sex between women.
Heterosexual feminist leader Helene Stöcker became a prominent figure in the movement. Friedrich Radszuweit published LGBT literature and magazines in Berlin (e.g., Die Freundin).
Hirschfeld, whose life was dedicated to social progress for people who were transsexual, transvestite and homosexual, formed the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft ( Institute for Sexology ) in 1919. The institute conducted an enormous amount of research, saw thousands of transgender and homosexual clients at consultations, and championed a broad range of sexual reforms including sex education, contraception and women's rights. However, the gains made in Germany would
soon be drastically reversed with the rise of Nazism, and the institute and its library were destroyed in 1933. The Swiss journal Der Kreis was the only part of the movement to continue through the Nazi era.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 decriminalised homosexuality and recognised same-sex marriage. This was a remarkable step in Russia at the time–which was very backward economically and socially, and where many conservative attitudes towards sexuality prevailed. This step was part of a larger project of freeing sexual relationships and expanding women's rights–including legalising abortion, granting divorce on demand, equal rights for women, and attempts to socialise house-work. With the era of Stalin, however, Russia reverted all these progressive measures – re-criminalising homosexuality and imprisoning gay men and banning abortion.
In 1928, English writer Radclyffe Hall published a novel titled The Well of Loneliness. Its plot centres around Stephen Gordon, a woman who identifies herself as an invert after reading Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis, and lives within the homosexual subculture of Paris. The novel included a foreword by Havelock Ellis and was intended to be a call for tolerance for inverts by publicizing their disadvantages and accidents of being born inverted. Hall subscribed to Ellis and Krafft-Ebing's theories and rejected Freud's theory that same-sex attraction was caused by childhood trauma and was curable.
In the United States, several secret or semi-secret groups were formed explicitly to advance the rights of homosexuals as early as the turn of the 20th century, but little is known about them. A better documented group is Henry Gerber's Society for Human Rights formed in Chicago in 1924, which was quickly suppressed.
Immediately following World War II, a number of homosexual rights groups came into being or were revived across the Western world, in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and the United States. These groups usually preferred the term homophile to homosexual, emphasizing love over sex. The homophile movement began in the late 1940s with groups in the Netherlands and Denmark, and continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s with groups in Sweden, Norway, the United States, France, Britain and elsewhere. ONE, Inc., the first public homosexual organization
in the U.S, was bankrolled by the wealthy transsexual man Reed Erickson. A U.S. transgender rights journal,
The Journal of the American Society for Equality in Dress, also published two issues in 1952.
The homophile movement lobbied to establish a prominent influence in political systems of social acceptability. Radicals of the 1970s would later disparage the homophile groups for being assimilationist. Any demonstrations were orderly and polite. By 1969, there were dozens of homophile organisations and publications in the U.S, and a national organisation had been formed, but they were largely ignored by the media. A 1962 gay march held in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, according to some historians, marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the LGBT youth organization Vanguard was formed by Adrian Ravarour to demonstrate for equality, and Vanguard members protested for equal rights during the months of April–July 1966, followed by the August 1966 Compton's riot, where transgender street prostitutes in the poor neighbourhood of Tenderloin, rioted against police harassment at a popular all-night restaurant, Gene Compton's Cafeteria.
The Wolfenden Report was published in Britain on 4 September 1957 after publicised convictions for homosexuality of well-known men, including Lord Montagu. Disregarding the conventional ideas of the day, the committee recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence". All but James Adair were in favour of this and, contrary to some medical and psychiatric witnesses' evidence at that time, found that "homosexuality cannot legitimately be regarded as a disease, because in many cases it is the only symptom and is compatible with full mental health in other respects." The report added, "The law's function is to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others … It is not, in our view, the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour."
The report eventually led to the introduction of the Sexual Offences Bill 1967 supported by Labour MP Roy Jenkins, then the Labour Home Secretary. When passed, The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between two men
over 21 years of age in private in England and Wales.
Bisexual activism became more visible toward the end of the 1960s in the United States. In 1966 bisexual activist Robert A. Martin ( a.k.a. Donny the Punk ) founded the Student Homophile League at Columbia University and New York University. In 1967 Columbia University officially recognized this group, thus making them the first college in the United States to officially recognize a gay student group.
Activism on behalf of bisexuals in particular also began to grow, especially in San Francisco. One of the earliest organizations for bisexuals, the Sexual Freedom League in San Francisco, was facilitated by Margo Rila and Frank
Esposito beginning in 1967. Two years later, during a staff meeting at a San Francisco mental health facility serving LGBT people, nurse Maggi Rubenstein came out as bisexual. Due to this, bisexuals began to be included in the facility's programs for the first time.
birthplace of the modern
The new social movements of the sixties, such as the Black Power and anti-
Vietnam war movements in the US, the May 1968 insurrection in France, and
Women's Liberation throughout the Western world, inspired many LGBT activists to
become more radical, and the Gay Liberation movement emerged towards the end
of the decade. This new radicalism is often attributed to the Stonewall riots of 1969
when a group of transsexuals, lesbians, drag queens, and gay male patrons at a bar
in New York resisted a police raid.
Immediately after Stonewall, such groups as the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and
the Gay Activists' Alliance (GAA) were formed. Their use of the word gay
represented a new unapologetic defiance—as an antonym for straight ("respectable
sexual behaviour"), it encompassed a range of non-normative sexualities and gender
expressions, including transgender street prostitutes, and sought ultimately to free
the bisexual potential in everyone, rendering obsolete the categories of homosexual
and heterosexual. According to Gay Lib writer Toby Marotta, "their Gay political outlooks
were not homophile but liberationist". "Out, loud and proud," they engaged in colourful street theatre. The GLF's "A Gay Manifesto" set out the aims for the fledgling gay liberation movement, and influential intellectual Paul Goodman published "The Politics of Being Queer" (1969). Chapters of the GLF were established across the U.S. and in other parts of the Western world. The Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire was formed in 1971 by lesbians who split from the Movement Homophile de France.
Bisexual activist Brenda Howard is known as the " Mother of Pride " for her work in coordinating the first LGBT pride march; the march eventually occurred in New York in 1970. Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June. Additionally, Howard along with bisexual activist Robert A. Martin (a.k.a. Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularising the word "Pride" to describe these festivities. As bisexual activist Tom Limoncelli put it, "The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why LGBT Pride Month is June tell them 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'"
One of the values of the movement was gay pride. Within weeks of the Stonewall Riots, Craig Rodwell, proprietor of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in lower Manhattan, persuaded the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) to replace the Fourth of July Annual Reminder at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with a first commemoration of the Stonewall Riots.
Liberation groups, including the Gay Liberation Front. Queens, the Gay Activists Alliance, Radical lesbians, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR) all took part in the first Gay Pride Week. Los Angeles held a big parade on the first Gay Pride Day. Smaller demonstrations were held in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.
In the United Kingdom the GLF had its first meeting in the basement of the London School of Economics on the 13th of October 1970. Bob Mellors and Aubrey Walter had seen the effect of the GLF in the United States and created a parallel movement based on revolutionary politics and alternative lifestyle.
By 1971, the UK GLF was recognized as a political movement in the national press, holding weekly meetings of 200 to 300 people. The GLF Manifesto was published, and a series of high-profile direct actions, were carried out. The disruption of the opening of the 1971 Festival of Light was the best organised of GLF action. The Festival of Light, whose leading figures included Mary Whitehouse, met at Methodist Central Hall. Groups of GLF members in drag invaded and spontaneously kissed each other; others released mice, sounded horns, and unveiled banners, and a contingent dressed as workmen obtained access to the basement and shut off the lights.
By 1974, internal disagreements had led to the movement's splintering. Organizations that spun off from the movement
included the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, Gay News, and Icebreakers. The GLF Information Service continued for a few further years providing gay related resources. GLF branches had been set up in some provincial British towns (e.g., Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, and Leicester) and some survived for a few years longer. The Leicester group founded by Jeff Martin was noted for its involvement in the setting up of the local "Gayline", which is still active today and has received funding from the National Lottery. They also carried out a high profile campaign against the local paper, the Leicester Mercury, which refused to advertise Gayline's services at the time.
From 1970 activists protested the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association
in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and in 1974 it was replaced with a category of "sexual orientation disturbance" then "ego-dystonic homosexuality," which was also deleted, although "gender identity disorder" remains.
BILL CLINTON LGBT
Peter Tatchell has described sharia as "a clerical form
of fascism" on the grounds that it opposes democracy and
human rights, especially for women and gay people. He
was the keynote speaker at a 2005 protest at the Canadian
High Commission over Ontario's arbitration law, which
already permitted religious arbitration in civil cases for
Jews and Christians, being extended to Muslims. Tatchell
argued there should be no separate systems of arbitration
for any religion. In 1995, he wrote that "although not all
Muslims are anti-gay, significant numbers are violently
homophobic. Muslim voters may be able to influence the outcome of elections in 20 or more marginal constituencies."
We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.
Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)
The material on this site does not necessarily reflect the views of What If? Tees.
The Images and Text are not meant to offend but to Promote Positive Open Debate and Free Speech.
The material on this site does not reflect the views of What If? Tees.
The Images and Text are not meant to offend but to Promote Positive Open Debate and Free Speech.